San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Kawhi Leonard to miss Opening Night with injury

By Rob Wolkenbrod
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 13: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 13, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 13: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 13, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Kawhi Leonard, who missed the entire preseason, will not be ready for the San Antonio Spurs Opening Night on Wednesday.

Kawhi Leonard was ruled out of the preseason before it even started, due rehabbing a quad injury. His Opening Night status was always in question, as there was no timetable for his return. That presented some questions for the San Antonio Spurs, including a potential starting lineup without Leonard.

On Friday night, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News reported that the two-time All-Star will not play in Wednesday’s regular-season opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves. There is still no timetable for a return.

No Leonard obviously presents problems for the Spurs, now that the regular season is almost here. With Opening Night still five days away, one has to wonder how severe this quad injury is. By the time Wednesday, Oct. 18 is here, it will be over two weeks since the first announcement of the ailment.

For Leonard’s replacement, Kyle Anderson has started almost every preseason game between Danny Green and LaMarcus Aldridge. He opened Friday night’s game against the Houston Rockets, so look for him to get the nod on Opening Night. Rudy Gay is the other option, but he’s been coming off the bench for the past few games, a role he’ll certainly have when Leonard returns.

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Once the San Diego State product returns, he’ll of course get into the starting lineup and work toward a potential MVP season. What that means for everyone else will be interesting, including Anderson and others at the two and three positions. He requires 30-35 minutes on the floor, so someone (or multiple players) who saw significant preseason playing time will see their opportunity slashed. It will make for one of a few intriguing storylines from this.

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